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A versatile and easy recipe. This Ramen Cabbage Salad is a very basic recipe that can be changed in so many ways.
Cabbage – You can use green cabbage, a mixture of green and purple cabbage or a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw or broccoli slaw mix. You could also chop the cabbage instead of shredding it.
Ramen Noodles – Any flavor of ramen can be used. I usually stick with chicken or soy sauce (formerly oriental), but pork, shrimp, or beef also work well. If you like spicy you could try the chili or sriracha flavors. The ramen is crushed and the seasoning packet is added to the dressing. You could also toast the ramen before adding it, either in a frying pan or in the oven.
Nuts – This recipe calls for sunflower seeds, but almost any nut would be good. Toasted almonds or sesame seeds are also great additions or substitutions. Pecans or Walnuts would be good, especially with some dried cranberries.
Oil – Any neutral oil could be substituted for vegetable oil. Some common oil substitutes for dressings are olive, safflower, canola, soybean, or salad oil. I love the flavor sesame oil gives this salad but you could replace it with any of the previous oils. For a more intense flavor boost, you could try sunflower, avocado, peanut, or walnut oil as a replacement for the sesame oil.
Sugar – Any sugar-free sweetener can be used in place of sugar. You could also try honey or agave if you are looking for a natural sweetener. Maple syrup or molasses would also give it a unique flavor.
Vinegar – The original recipe called for distilled white vinegar, which works but is kind of boring. You can use a mixture of white vinegar and flavored vinegar, I like to use herb-infused wine vinegar. Apple cider, balsamic, and wine vinegar are all more flavorful choices than plain white vinegar. Plum or any other fruit vinegar would make a tasty addition.
Ramen Seasoning Packet – You may choose not to use the ramen seasoning packet. You could replace it with soy sauce, fresh or dried herbs, garlic or onion powder, chicken or beef bouillon, poultry seasoning, or just salt and pepper to your taste.
Additions – I almost always add chicken or turkey to this salad when I make it. Leftover turkey, rotisserie, or grilled chicken makes a great addition, especially when using chicken ramen.
Other possible additions –
Meat – Steak, ground beef, ground turkey, pork, bacon, ham, or shrimp.
Fruit – Chopped apple, mango, canned mandarin oranges (drained), pineapple, pickled ginger, raisins, or dried cranberries.
Vegetables – Carrots, bell peppers, green onions, peas, edamame, watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, or spinach are all good choices.
Cheese – Crumbled feta, goat cheese, blue cheese, or any cubed cheese would add a unique touch.
This salad is best when served within a few hours of mixing so the noodles remain crunchy.
Ramen Cabbage Salad
- 16- ounce bag coleslaw mix or 1/2 large head cabbage (shredded)
- 1 3-ounce package ramen noodles (crushed)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp vinegar
- ramen flavor packet
- Toss together cabbage, crushed ramen, and sunflower seeds.
- Whisk together the oils, sugar, vinegar, and ramen flavor packet. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss evenly to coat.